My skating rink is open again! I am jumping (and spinning and dancing and doing three-turns and mohawks and all my moves-in-the-field) for joy!
This isn’t a blog about skating. When I surveyed readers about what they most wanted to see on this blog, my passion for skating came out pretty much at the bottom. But this ISN’T about skating. It’s about my gracious God.
I think it was August when we got the word that the rink—in fact, the whole fitness facility—would close if the owner didn’t find a buyer. It is a remarkably nice fitness center with very reasonable membership rates in a small town (population 2,681).
But the swimming pool closed several years ago since no one was using it except a once-a-week water aerobics class. The weight room is crowded in the early morning and then empties out. There are a handful of skaters on the ice before school starts, but rarely anyone else (except me!) until the high school hockey team appears. The day I spent twenty-minutes sweeping rust fallen from the girders overhead before it was safe to skate was the day I decided it was unlikely that my rink would stay open.
If this were Indianapolis where I used to skate, it wouldn’t be problem. There were half dozen rinks within half an hour of my house there. But this isn’t Indy. My nearest practical rink is an hour and forty-five minutes away. (There are a few closer rinks, but the hockey teams hold the keys and it’s not worth their time to let others in.)
Sure enough the doors to my rink closed the second week in September.
I went through a time of grieving. I went to Nairobi and to Brazil. I found excuses to visit my grandchildren in Saint Paul and take my skates. But this isn’t a sport you can do once in a while. Conditioning wasn’t the only thing I could see falling away. Skill was definitely waning.
And then my gracious God showed up.
He’s done this before. When we left Brazil without ever having tasted the fruit of the trees we had planted in our yard, God gave us a lush garden in Maputo with mango, avocado, guava, tangerines, papaya and passion fruit. When we moved to my husband’s hometown I made a list of things we needed in a house. God gave us all of it plus a fireplace study, a quaint back stairway to the kitchen and a bay window in the dining room, not to mention the beautiful decorating exactly in my taste.
Even as I grieved the passing of skating from my life, I wondered if God had something better in mind for me.
But no! He gave me back my rink under new ownership—ownership making plans to put in a ceiling that will save them heating money and keep the rust off my ice. It re-opened the week before Thanksgiving although I only learned the news this week. I couldn’t have skated there last week anyway. I was in Saint Paul with family. In fact, the whole time the rink was closed I was either away or too busy to use it more than a handful of times. God knew. He had it all under control. He knew the joy I get from gliding over the ice and had a plan to make it even better. Would you believe my membership rate will even go down?
So what is God doing in your life right now that looks like the road to disappointment, but could be a way to greater blessing?
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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